Abounding More and More

Abounding More and More

1 Thessalonians 4:1

“Finally then, brethren we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;”

The Church of Thessalonica was commended by Paul over and over, as they were known for their love and good works. Yet, although their testimony was known by the surrounding regions, Paul exhorted them twice in chapter 4 to still abound “more and more”. That should be the goal of every believer, to continually advance the kingdom of God.

No matter how well we are doing in Christ, we should always strive to do more. John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can; by all the means you can; In all the ways you can; in all the places you can; at all the times you can; to all the people you can; as long as ever you can.” We should live each day as though it is our last, for one day we will be right. Our life is but a vapor, so we should redeem the time and be filled with good works. Let our lives overflow with fruit.

You have a promise from God, that if you abide in Christ and He abides in you, you will bear much fruit (John 15:5)! Imagine that if the Lord of all creation lives in you, there is no way you won’t produce godly fruit; His life will ooze out of you. The question is, are you full of Christ, or still full of you? John stated that if all the works of Jesus where written down, there would not be enough room on earth for all the books that would be written (John 21:25)! And His ministry was only 3 years long!

Therefore, let Christ and His word dwell in you richly, and live with eternity in mind. Let your branches spread far and wide, distributing nourishing fruit to all who are around you; that they might reach out and be blessed by your love, your hope, your joy, your patience and kindness that flows from your life. Spend and be spent doing God’s work, reaching the lost and loving the brethren, and when you enter eternity you will not regret it.

Love in Christ, Jonathan Ball

Web: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

 

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Great is His Name!

Great is His Name!

Isaiah 45:5-7

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, that they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.”

If you don’t get anything else out of this message, get the fact that the God of all creation is absolutely amazing, and there is none that compares to HIM! We sing songs that glorify Him, we speak of His greatness but we have no idea how magnificent He truly is. The mighty angels of heaven adore Him, they worship Him continually and do His bidding, waiting to obey His commands (Hebrews 1:6, Psalms 103:19- 22). Kings cast their crowns at His feet in adoration, all of their splendor is laid down before Him (Revelations 4:8- 11). If we will not praise Him the rocks will cry out; the trees clap their hands, and all of creation rejoices at His wonders (Isaiah 55:12).

There is no God but Him; He spoke and the worlds were formed, He is sovereign over all. He formed light and created darkness, He makes peace and creates calamity; therefore we should fear Him! He gives life and He takes it away, He raises up kings and humbles them (Daniel 2:20- 22). Great is His name!

Heaven and earth rejoice at the sound of His voice, the mountains tremble at His power (Nahum 1:5). We who have been born again should live a life of exalting His name on the earth, declaring with boldness His great power. Like the Apostle Peter said, “you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light! (1 Peter 2:9)” So if God has saved you, proclaim His praises; do not be ashamed! One day every knee will bow at the name of Jesus, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10, 11)! Therefore choose to bow today without shame, for He is God and there is no other!

With Love, Jonathan Ball

Web recourses: www.jonnyfivealive.wix.com/pyroounderground

Home Church: www.goodfight.org

What do you more than others?

What do you more than others?

Matthew 5:46, 47

“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?”

If you are a Christian, Jesus requires more of you than from others. For the world loves those who love them, but we are commanded to go further; we are told we must love those who hate us, pray for those who spitefully use us, and bless those who curse us. For if we do no more than those who are in sin, what difference is there?

As children of God we should do more than others because we have proclaimed that we are born again, and that God’s Spirit lives in us. Therefore, if God who is holy, righteous and good, lives in us, how is it that we can still act like the world? Our life must stand out as different, separate, and holy (2 Corinthians 6:17). When the world teaches to be prideful, we must be humble, when the world says to love those who love us, we must love those who hate us, and bless them. For the LORD Himself is good to all, even to blasphemers and haters of God.

We must do more than others because we have proclaimed to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14, 15). For the world is in darkness and must look to us for the way, but if the light that is in you is darkness, how great is your darkness (Matthew 6:23)! What a betrayal to proclaim we know the way and yet show no one!

So please, if you say that God has saved you and made you a new creation, let it show in your actions. Love people more than is possible for the world, pray without ceasing, forgive continually, do more acts of kindness than those without God, even to your enemies, show mercy to all, and live in holiness, being perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. For the world does not have power to live right, but you have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11), therefore you can and must do more than others do.

Love in Christ, Jonathan Ball  

Intolerance

In-tolerance

Matthew 10:34

“Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.”

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There is a wave of influence in the world today which is not a new spirit but is as old as the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 11, all men spoke the same language, and they as one unit planned on making a name for themselves. The problem is that they didn’t want their Creator in the picture, but in pride, they wanted to be the god of the universe. This will always happen until sin is done away with and God makes all things new.

The word “tolerance” means to accept the differing views of other people in religious or political matters. While Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, He in no way told us to live in peace with their wrong views. On the contrary, Jesus tells us He did not come to bring peace but a sword. The truth will inevitably produce controversy, even as light conflicts with darkness.

God will in no way tolerate sin. He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). There is not even a shadow of turning in Him. Jesus said He is the Truth (John 14:6), and that truth will stand forever. Scripture says that the LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, that He does forgive iniquity and transgression, but He “by no means” clears the guilty (Numbers 14:18). God is merciful enough to send His only Son to be crucified in our place, but outside of Christ there is NO place of forgiveness. For those who reject Jesus and continue in sin, God will not tolerate it, nor should He.

Many in the “Church” world today have given into this spirit of tolerance; preachers and denominations are surrendering the truth so they may please sinful man, instead of pleasing God. It grieves my heart so much, even though Scripture warned that these times would come. The Presbyterian denomination just removed the song “In Christ alone” out of their hymnal simply because it says, “on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” They even asked the song writers to change the verse to “on that cross as Jesus died, the love of God was magnified”, and the writers refused, saying they wrote the song to present the whole gospel. That’s alarming to me, that these people want to replace the word wrath with love. I’m sorry, but it’s God’s word, and He says He that we are saved from wrath through Jesus (Romans 5:9, John 3:36). (If God didn’t have righteous anger towards wickedness, then He would be unjust and unholy). I have also seen multiple Churches in Hollywood (united Methodist being one of them) that have signs declaring that they support equality for all (supporting homosexuals).

Now we are commanded to love all people, but not to align ourselves with them. Scripture says to come out from among them and be separate, and do not touch what is unclean, and the LORD would receive us and make us His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:14- 18). For what communion does light have with darkness and what fellowship does righteousness with lawlessness? We must stay faithful to preach the whole truth of God, and teach others of God’s perfect character: His love, His holiness, His righteousness, His justice, His judgment, His mercy, His grace, His goodness and His severity.

In failing to do so we are not only “not loving” enough to warn people of the truth, but also there awaits a heavier judgment, for Jesus said it would be better to tie a millstone around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble (Matthew 18:6). Teachers who mislead the flock will have to face the wrath of God for all the people they led to destruction. That is why we are told that teachers will receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)

Therefore the conclusion of the matter is to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And because we love God we will be faithful to declare all that He has said to others. And because we love others, we will tell them the truth in humility, with a gentle spirit, so that God might perhaps grant them repentance and that they might come to know the truth, turn from their sin and be delivered from death (2 Timothy 2:24- 26).

Please study the word of God daily to see whether these things are so.

Someone who loves each of you,

 Jonathan Ball